Melanie Brusseler

 Political Economy
Democratic Planning & Ownership

Climate and biospheric stabilization necessitates democratizing investment and economic coordination—at planetary scale. How might we do this? 

As Senior Researcher at Common Wealth, I work on technical and political economy analysis of production and social coordination systems—and their transformation—for decarbonization. In particular, I work to advance democratic ownership and democratic planning—the “green mixed-economy”—as essential.

I live in the US and focus on green planning in trans-Atlantic context. But I am a student of global political economy and ultimately aspire to the realization of a planetary cooperative commonwealth. The topics I research, write on, and design policy towards could be categorized as industrial policy or strategy, economic planning, macrofinance, or economic governance and management. I think by engaging with history, political, economic, and social theory, the flux of real world events, and conversations with others. 

Like many who came of age post-08, I have spent quite a bit of time trying to understand money, finance, investment, and how each relate to the state. I am currently quite eager to widen and deepen my sectoral knowledge—particularly that of energy systems. 

Previously, I researched (global) macrofinance, economic management, and industrial planning policy for decarbonization at E3G. There, I wrote a bi-weekly newsletter on green macrofinance and transition planning. I began my career as a researcher in political economy as Gar Alperovitz’s research assistant at the Democracy Collaborative’s Next System Project. There, I supported Alperovitz’s draft manuscript of political economic theory “The Next System,” which advances his model of a Pluralist Commonwealth, centered on (multiscaler and decentralized) democratic ownership and planning. 

I studied global political economy at Penn State and Columbia. But I’ve learned the most from lurking onTwitter. 


“The Greatest Generation: How Public Power Can Deliver Net Zero Faster, Fairer and Cheaper” report for Common Wealth, 2024

“Twinned Transition: On the Green Mixed Economy” essay for Common Wealth Perspectives, 2024

“Governing the Supply Side: Why It Requires Building the Green Mixed Economy” essay for IPPR Progresive Review, 2023

“Green Capital Strike!” essay for Common Wealth Perspectives, 2023

“Coordinating  the Green Prosperity Plan” report for Common Wealth, 2023

“Transitioning Systems?” essay for Common Wealth Perspectives, 2023

“The Political Economy of US Green Industrial Planning” report for E3G, 2022

Discussions and Interviews

“Profit and Power” panel with Phenomenal World on profits, prices, and the green energy transition, 2024. 

“Grid is Good” podcast interview with Trade Unions for Energy Democracy Radio on the need for public ownership and reintegration of the UK electricity system, 2024.

“Varieties of Derisking” panel with Phenomenal World and the Polycrisis on industrial policy, state capacity, macrofinance, and the green transition, 2023.

For more of my recent media publications and interviews, see Common Wealth’s news and commentary tracker.

Follow me on Twitter @brusselermel

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